If you’ve ever tried your hand at home baking, one of the places you might be most tempted to start is with meatloaf. This traditional American dish is very simple to make, all you need is some ground beef, vegetables, and the right size loaf tin.
Loaf tins are one of the most flexible baking accessories you can have in your kitchen. Not only are they excellent for whipping up meatloaf in no time at all, but you can use them to make sweet loaves like a banana nut or a coffee cake.
These pans are generally nonstick, so you can prize your savory or sweet loaf out of the pan in one clean piece, which makes for easy washing up afterward.
You can even freeze the contents of your meatloaf tin, as the metal can evenly conduct both hot and cold temperatures.
All you have to do is wait for your meatloaf to cool down before covering the top in saran wrap and placing it in the freezer to be eaten later. You can also use a meatloaf tin to freeze ice cream.
Meatloaf tins can come made in all different kinds of material, a lot of which we will look at in our upcoming list.
You can get them made from glass, metal, ceramic and silicone, all of which offer unique results as well as having their drawbacks. These loaf tins are often very durable and can last you a lifetime.
But where can you find the best meatloaf tins? What features and capabilities should your average loaf tin have to give you a meal that will be thoroughly cooked right the way through to the center?
How much will one of these loaf tins cost you in terms of price?
Well, don’t worry meatloaf bakers, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best meatloaf tins currently available on the market.
We’ve also got a buyer’s guide that will help you sort out the great tins from the not-so-great tins, as well as some frequently asked questions about baking meatloaf.
OUR TOP PICK
Our first meatloaf tin is one that comes in a very solid casing, with a reinforced aluminum rim and folded corners that will prevent your meatloaf from breaking or folding, as is common in some cheaper models.
The narrowness of the case gives you a better heat transfer and makes for an ultimately taller loaf - introducing the Chicago Metallic Commercial II Loaf Pan.
This one is made to professional standards, giving you a restaurant-worthy meatloaf at the end of your cooking.
Metal casings traditionally give your meatloaf more of a crust, the open-top means that the surface of the hood of your meatloaf will have a nice and golden coloration.
The solid construction and design of the meatloaf tin will mean that your meatloaf will not stick to the inside, coming away after cooking in one solid piece.
It will cook quickly and thoroughly in this simple tin. The cleaning time will also be greatly reduced by a one-piece unit like this one.
- The construction - the one-piece aluminum body offers a great heat transfer, meaning that you’ll get a loaf with just the right level of moisture that won’t crack or break on expulsion.
- You can line this with a single sheet of greaseproof paper for a much quicker transfer from the tin to your serving plate.
- The open-top design of this tin will give your meatloaf that wonderful golden-brown crust at the top.
- You can also make sweet as well as savory loaves with this tin - experiment with banana, coffee and lemon to create a dessert to go with your meaty main.
- The lack of handles will make handling a boiling hot loaf tin very tricky.
Next up we have a tin that comes in a glass composition, which means you can easily see when your meatloaf is ready to serve!
Glass makes sure that the heat from your oven will distribute evenly throughout your meatloaf, cooking it through to the core.
This will be very important if you want to have your meatloaf ready in under 30 mins - introducing the Pyrex Glass Loaf Pan.
Glass is famously non-reactive, so you can cook dishes with more delicate components such as tomatoes and citrus fruits and not have to worry about them burning.
You can subject your glass to incredibly high temperatures and they still won’t experience much in the way of breaking or cracking.
You can also put your glass straight in the fridge or the freezer if you want to store it for later - although we certainly would caution against putting a hot or even warm glass meatloaf container immediately in the refrigerator.
If you do this, the glass will most certainly crack or smash because of the dramatic reduction in heat.
- The glass construction - the smooth glass will allow you to transition the meatloaf easily to the serving plate. When it comes to cooking meatloaf, sticking is a problem, but this glass unit will help you avoid that.
- Glass is also incredibly easy to clean in the sink - simply leave it to soak in water for a few minutes and your meatloaf remains will be removed no problem.
- You will be able to see how well done your meatloaf is by simply looking through the glass. This is ideal for cooking different varieties of savory and sweet dishes that require different cooking times.
- The glass is also chemically neutral, so it won’t affect the flavor of your final meatloaf.
- If you transfer this too quickly from your oven to your fridge, then the glass will shatter or crack.
- The glass needs to be well greased before you use it for cooking.
Next up, we have a meatloaf tin that is made from a different material yet again - this time it is silicone.
Silicone has been used in cooking appliances for many decades now. It’s durable, very lightweight and, most importantly for a meatloaf tin, nonstick.
A nonstick pan will result in a meatloaf that won’t break when you remove it after cooking - introducing the Trudeau Structure Loaf Pan.
This silicone meatloaf tin is very easy to clean after use, mainly because of the nonstick elements.
Because of the elasticity of this metal, you can quickly transfer your warm meatloaf from the oven to the refrigerator.
You won’t need any extra utensils to remove your meatloaf from this pan, the nonstick elements really are that impressive.
You can also try your hand at baking a whole number of sweet loaves - you can even use fruit in your mixture, as it won’t burn against the silicone body of the tin itself.
- The durability of the silicone - this tin is made from an incredibly durable material, it can withstand many intensities of heat without cracking or damaging.
- It is lightweight, so you can quickly sling it in your backpack and take it on a camping trip or an outdoor event if you so desire.
- You can transfer this tin easily from the oven to the freezer and back again. The durable silicone exterior won’t result in any wear and tear, which could affect the functionality of your tin.
- This is one of the more resilient tins on this list - it can survive most knocks, scrapes and pressures. You can expect this tin to last you many years.
- This pan is only heat resistant up to 430 degrees in the oven, which some bakers might find a little lacking.
- Some sharper utensils might damage the exterior of this tin and cause it to lose functionality over time.
Our next meatloaf tin is one that has been manufactured by a very reputable cookery brand, performing extremely well at an affordable price.
It is made from the borderline indestructible material of carbon steel, which means that it will be able to withstand intense heat, with a reinforced nonstick surface that will ease transfer from tin to plate - introducing Wilton Perfect Results Loaf Pan.
The carbon steel structure of this tin will prevent the warping of your contents, allowing you to transfer it smoothly to the plate without cracking.
This will definitely appeal to cooks to whom presentation is very important.
This tin is larger than some of the others listed here, so if you’re planning on making a sweet or savory loaf for a party of around 5 to 7 people, then this will be the tin for you.
You should be able to prepare and cook up to 2 pounds worth of meatloaf in this tin. The nonstick element of the pan also means that cleaning up will be remarkably easy.
- This carbon steel is very resilient - you can subject it to intense oven heat, then put it in the freezer, throw it in the sink and it will still come out looking brand new and ready for your next cooking session.
- The metal body will also allow for the equal distribution of heat through your loaf. This is very important to make sure that it cooks right the way through to the center.
- This is ideal for a domestic setting - you can rustle up around 2 pounds of meatloaf for you and your family, especially handy if you’re pushed for time and need something in a hurry.
- You can bake both meat and sweet treats in this tin - try your hand at banana nut loaf or lemon and poppyseed cake.
- It is recommended that you handwash this unit rather than put it in the dishwasher, as intense pressure can contribute to superficial damage.
The fact that we’ve left this loaf tin until last by no means makes it the worst, as the thousands of five-star reviews on Amazon will certainly testify.
Just looking at this meatloaf tin, you can see the ingenuity that has gone into the design, with a sealable lid that you can use to trap the heat, which will, in turn, save you a lot on your electricity bill - introducing the USA Bakeware Pullman Loaf Pan.
This loaf tin is a lot longer than some of the tins we’ve already listed, meaning that you will get a much more compact and well-cooked meal at the end.
The lid seals in the flavor of the ingredients and prevents the muffin-top shape, which is ideal if presentation is important in your meal preparation.
You can make many different styles of traditional bread loaf in this tin too - whether it’s classic white bread, multi-seed or brioche, this tin can handle them all.
Your bread will be much more tender than usual, as the lid will stop the moisture from dissipating and drying out your mixture.
- The stainless steel body - the material gives you even heat transfer, as well as being very easy to clean once you’ve finished.
- The design - the longer the loaf tin, the quicker that you can cook it, since your heat will distribute much more thoroughly.
- If you decided to cook more traditional breaded loaves, then you can look forward to them being a lot more chewy and moist, owing to the lid.
- The lid - the fact that this comes with a lid means that all the natural elements of your ingredients can be kept inside. It also retains more heat, which will save you using more energy through your cooker.
- We would recommend that you hand wash this unit, as dishwashers might cause damage to the casing, which will lead to functionality issues further down the line.
Best Meatloaf Pan Buying Guide
You might not think that buying a new meatloaf tin should require too much thought. However, before purchasing, it is always worth bearing in mind how much meatloaf you plan on cooking and for how many people.
You’d be surprised how many times we’ve embarked on a meatloaf only to find that one person is left wanting come serving time.
Most meatloaf tins should offer you the following basic features:
How Big Is Your Meatloaf Tin?
Size matters when it comes to cooking anything. The size of the pans that we’ve listed above varies greatly, and if you have a family to feed, then you’ll certainly be wanting a much more generous capacity.
Trying testing out your first meatloaf using a regular saucepan. Measure the dimensions of it and see how much ground beef and other ingredients you’ll need to feed your party. Then refer to these dimensions when buying your new meatloaf tin.
What Material Is Your Pan Made From?
As you have already seen, there are a wide variety of materials that go into making a meatloaf tin: glass, stainless steel, aluminum, carbon steel and ceramic.
Ceramic meatloaf containers offer greater heat distribution and can be cleaned very easily after cooking. However, beware of ceramic cracking after repeated uses. They also won’t bear up well against hard impacts, so be careful not to drop them.
Metal containers like carbon steel and aluminum are probably the best for cooking meatloaf as they are very resilient, resistant to scratches and can withstand both intense hot and cold.
Does Your Pan Have A Nonstick Coating?
A nonstick element to your pan will be very important for transferring your meat from the pan to the plate. Often meatloaf can stick to the sides, which can cause it to break when you’re trying to remove it.
If your pan is nonstick, then that also removes the necessity to use sharp utensils to cut it free of your pan. These sharp implements can often damage the inside of your pan, which will then affect the heat transfer and ultimately the quality of your meatloaf.
Nonstick pans are also much easier to clean.
How Much Is You Meatloaf Tin?
You can get most meatloaf tins for only a few dollars, although some of the professional standard tins can cost upwards of fifty dollars.
If you want all the luxury features, you’ll definitely be looking to spend a lot more.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Durable Should Your Meatloaf Tin Be?
Ideally, you’ll only want to buy one or two meatloaf tins over a lifetime.
Although if you’re using your tins daily, perhaps in a small restaurant setting, then you’ll probably be looking to buy some backups.
Having a tin made from metal is generally the best way for it to last, as this material is generally more resilient than ceramic or glass.
Should Your Meatloaf Tin Come With Handles?
Handles will help you to transfer your tin from the hot oven to the countertop. Meatloaf tins that don’t have handles will be much more difficult to carry without the aid of oven gloves or a kitchen cloth.
Handles also help the transfer of your meatloaf to the serving dish, as the heat is far less concentrated in the handles that the body of the tin itself. Ideally, you’ll want rubber handles to avoid burning your hands